Thursday, October 31, 2019


1. It looks as if the fire in Sonoma County is finally under control, and most of the towns under threat (including the one my acquaintances in the area live in) are relieved from duress. That's a relief. Their inhabitants can go back home, and the power is on. Here's the explanation for all the blackouts: essentially, a judge has forced the utility to take responsibility for the fires its equipment causes, so in lieu of actually trimming the vegetation and fixing their old sparkies, they're taking the passive-aggressive mode of turning the power off.

(There's been little wind down here, curiously, though we certainly occasionally get the Diablos, as they're now becoming known - this is, in case it's not clear, the identical meteorological phenomenon as what's called the Santa Anas in LA.)

2. What most people don't get about the World Series crowd chanting at DT "Lock him up" - they're trolling him. While they'd surely like for him to be duly punished, summary imprisonment isn't being seriously proposed. This is a sardonic reply to all the similar chants at his rallies, which are intended seriously and are actually chilling. This time it's mockery. Here's a columnist who gets it.

3. British politics report: They've called a general election. Chances that the Tories will win a majority, and Boris's plan will go through: Large. About half. Chances that there'll be a hung parliament like the one they have now, and nothing will go through: Large. About half. Chances that anything else will happen: Small. Chances that, if that something else requires a coalition between Labour and any of the Remain parties, that the coalition will break up before it ever gets going, over an argument on whether it requires Corbyn, as leader of the largest party, to be PM: inevitable.

(Footnote: There's no UK constitutional requirement that the PM in a coalition be the leader of the largest party in it. In the 1852 coalition, the PM was the leader of the smaller of two parties. Same in the 1916 coalition. In the 1931 coalition, the PM was the leader of the smallest of four parties. In the 1940 coalition, the PM was initially not the leader of any party.)

4. Activity of the day: the long-deferred clearing out some books to sell from the hardcover fiction shelves in the dining room to make room for some of the extras that have been piling up. Deciding on some authors that no, I don't think I'm ever likely to get around to reading them. Have not stocked up on candy, or substitute. Due to decreasing Halloween activity around here, we've just started bowing out for the last couple of years and keep our outside light off.

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